Joe Biden, who decided against running for president in 2016 after the death of his son Beau Biden, reportedly told the media at the Capitol on Monday that he is planning on running again in 2020. If Biden ran, he would provide the Democrats with an experienced rival for Donald Trump, who would be running for his second term that year.
Biden was at the Senate to preside over a cancer bill that was named after Beau. Outside the Senate, NBC News’ Kelly O’Donnell reports that he told the media gathered there that he might run for President in 2020. “Yeah I am. I am going to run in 2020,” he said. “What the hell man, anyway,” he added.
While on Hardball with Chris Matthews, O’Donnell said she and the other reporters were surprised, since many thought that his career in public service was ending after two terms as President Barack Obama’s Vice President. Biden’s comments were also reported by The Hill.
“I’m not committing not to run,” O’Donnell quotes Biden as saying. “I’m not committed to anything. I learned a long time ago, fate has a strange way of intervening.”
Biden will be 77 during the 2020 presidential campaign and turns 78 on November 20, 2020. Trump will be 74 in 2020.
Biden gave a tearful speech at the White House in October 2015, saying that he wouldn’t run for the Oval Office in 2016.
“As the family and I have worked through the — the grieving process, I’ve said all along what I’ve said time and again to others: that it may very well be that that process, by the time we get through it, closes the window on mounting a realistic campaign for president. That it might close,” Biden said at the time. “I’ve concluded it has closed.”
Biden‘s ability to connect with blue collar workers, as a native of Pennsylvania and a Senator for Delaware, helped Obama win the White House twice. However, he was sparingly used during Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Two months before the election, Biden told CNN that Clinton had to “open up” to voters more. “Let them see your heart a little more,” Biden said.
Biden understood that Clinton didn’t get the same working-class support Obama did. At a reception after the election, Biden said that Trump voters aren’t racist because some of them voted for Obama. Indeed, while Obama won Pennsylvania and Ohio in 2012, Clinton lost both of those states.
“We lost because of awful lot of hard-working Americans who live in areas where we did not pay much attention to,” Biden said. “Barack Obama won these people. They are not racist. They did not vote for the Democrats this time.”